Monday, May 30, 2005

Lavish Pondichery

Pondichery as an Union Territory receives more than neccessary fund from the Central Government and use it unproductively.

The announcement of the government of the start of a new Government Medical College bears an example of it.Already there are soo many medical colleges in the UT.There are freakish adding one more to the list.

This case is just an example, laying roads over and over and over again on an road which is already in very good condition,liting highmast and street lamps even during the day time are some of the other examples.

Now there have proposed to build a new cricket stadium.Not because there isn't enough cricket stadium in the country, but to make a political gain and to loot away the remaining wealth from the nearby districts of Tamil Nadu by often bringing people of special occasions and making a large business out of it.

Ok what else?? they have a proposal to bring a free port(duty free port) in Indian Waters.They get so much from the Central Government so there is no need for them to generate revenue through taxation.The direct consequence of this act of bringing a duty free port will be,most ships will prefer this port and there will be large in flow of commodities,so cheaper price compared to the neighbouring state, consequently a large inflow of money from outside through the consumers from neighbouring districts and so an increased business activity and increased money flow in the their territory which only means a complete devastation of the economic activities of the neighbouring districts whose economic condition is already crippled due to the tax consession of the UT.

Its not all that the chief minister has announced that a subsidy of one crore will be given to entrepreneurs who are willing to start a new hotel in the UT.

ONE CRORE subsidy!!! is that paid out of the revenue generated by themselves??? une grande NON who is subsidising whos tax money?? In fact they pay very very less tax compared to people of others states, and get a lion share I am sorry a DINO SHARE.What a discrimination!! is this the equality the Independent India grantees for its citizens????

Sunday, May 29, 2005

EU Constitution

Here I given you the link that contains the full text EU constitution(English)
Click the following link EU Constitution

or paste the following URL/website address in your browser's address bar

Also you can use this alternative link

News items

French Referendum
French vote today whether or not to adopt the EU constitution.Opinion polls have predicted 'NO' is ahead with 55% of the vote share.But it is expected the small fraction of undicided voters will paly a vital role in determining the outset of results.

French people in Pondichery will also be casting their votes in French Counsel.

Rs 75 cr disbursed for tsunami relief in Pondy: CM
As much as Rs 75 crore had been disbursed so far towards relief and rehabilitation of tsunami-hit people in the Union Territory, Chief Minister N Rangasamy said on Saturday.

Housing projects for the tsunami affected people would be taken up utilising the loan from World Bank and funds generated from outside the state, he told reporters here while detailing the achievements of his ministry during the last four years.

He said the government had been in the process of acquiring 100 acres for development of infrastructures for a cricket stadium, educational institutions and a government sponsored medical college in Kadirkamam.

The proposed medical college would be started during 2006-2007 and the approval of the Medical Council of India was being sought for the same. It would have 100 seats.

He said that Rs 1 crore would be available as subsidy to private entrepreneurs constructing hotels in the Union Territory as the government was keen on promoting tourism.

His government had been able to maintain law and order and this was chiefly responsible for development of Pondicherry, he said adding the plan outlay for the current year had been fixed at Rs 810 crore compared to around Rs 400 crore when he took over in 2001.

He said the Pondicherry administration had expressed its readiness to hold the 2nd South Zone Chief Ministers Conference.

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

Jumbo DVDs coming — but at what price?

"Danish ship must be driven out"

The Supreme Court Monitoring Committee (SCMC) has said that the Danish ship "Riky'' docked at a Gujarat port for dismantling, should be "mercilessly driven out of Indian sovereign territory without loss of time."

Responding to a complaint filed before the Monitoring Committee by Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Parikh on behalf of Greenpeace, an environmental group, SCMC chairperson Gopalkrishnan Thyagarajan sought a full-fledged inquiry by a Central agency into the "illegal" entry of the ship into Indian waters.

In a letter to all SCMC members and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, Mr. Thyagarajan said the SCMC was against "entertaining any interest in allowing the ship to stay for ship-breaking. It should go back to its source country, get decontaminated and thereafter seek return observing all rules and regulations of the Basel Convention as well as applicable rules of the Indian Government."

A formal order to this effect would be issued on June 2, a Greenpeace spokesperson said. "As far as SCMC is concerned, we take a serious and alarming view of the ship as fait accompli, which can have far reaching and adverse implications to India`s environmental care and concerns and international image," Mr. Thyagarajan said.

`Intention to cheat'

"The ship changing its name and arriving on Indian shore illegally clearly demonstrates its intention to cheat and deceive. Its arrival is in gross violation of the directives on ship breaking of the Supreme Court. The ship should not have been allowed to enter Indian territorial waters at all. The letter from the Danish Minister for the Environment cautioned India loudly and clearly. If the ship is considered hazardous by Denmark, the Basel Convention requires India also to treat it as such.

Copyright © 2005, The Hindu.

Friday, May 27, 2005

From THE HINDU's Opinion Column

An opportunity for the devastated islands
P.C. Kesavan and K.Balasubramanian

The forests and mangroves of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands must be used in a sustainable manner for the livelihood security of the local community.

full story>>

Unutilised tsunami relief fund

Rajasthan sitting on funds for tsunami victims: Congress

"The Government also has no information on how much money has been collected by other organizations in the State"

full story>>

CII Tsunami Task Force,CII Tsunami Rehabilitation Project

CII is already helping people affected by tsunami.It has setup Tusnami Task Force and announced Rs.15 cr. rehabilitation package for the fishermen and framers affected by tsunami.
It has also pledged for improving the fishing practices.It said it would "sea hunting into sea farming".
I think Nagapattinam will get a bears share.Its is neccessary for us to stay awake and get the right share for our fisheries.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

After a long wait

After a very wait the road partition work in Hospital Road has just geared up.But no pits were dug till date for the installation of the sodium vapour lamps.And please keep visiting the blog for more updates on this project.

Annual Cart festival

Annual cart festical just ended in Pataleeswarer temple.It was really beautiful this time.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Keeping right

Almost all the buses which start from Cuddalore Bus Stand use the wrong( they keep right lane) to go towards the Anna bridge.i.e., the buses come out of the bus stand through the gateway whicch is originally meant for the buses to enter into the bus stand.

They used to do it in the late night hours.But now come this even by 10:00 PM.This interrupts the free flow of traffic in Lawrence Road also increasing the chances of accidents.

Officials must look into this and prevent the buses from violating the rules this way.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The most famous photograph taken in Cuddalore

Finally after lots of difficult I got the photo taken by Arko Datta in Cuddalore two days after tsunami.

World Press Photo jury chairman Diego Goldberg described the winning image as “a true spot news picture with a strong photographer’s point of view.” According to jury member Kathy Ryan, Datta’s photograph is a “graphic, historical and starkly emotional picture.”

World Press Photo of the Year 2004 1st Prize Spot News singles Arko Datta, India, Reuters Woman mourns relative killed in tsunami, Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India, 28 December.

Silver Beach entry in Wikipedia

I have just now made a posting on Wikipedia about the Silver Beach.I have posted the same here.You can make any changes and edit the content added by me.To do that follow this link

Silver Beach
Long...exoctic...glittering mild in eyes...uusssss....romantic irresistible even tsunami made a visit to Silver Beach in the southeastindian coast. Silver Beach is located just 2 km from downtown Cuddalore however untouched by the busy life of Cuddalore.

Silver Beach is the second longest beach in the eastindian coast.Any one who makes a visit once to this beach will come here for the second time for sure (perhaps people there are expecting even tsunami to visit again).

To the south of the beach the South Cuddalore Bay Area looks as if it were a seperate island.

The back water that seperates the main beach from the island like structure is a safe place for water sports.There is Siver Beach Boat House rents boats for cheap costs(so you can spend long..looong... hours riding).Offcourse this is the best way to relish the beauty of the silvery sand of the beach on north,mint blue sea on the east,beautiful landscape on the south and thats not all,it's beautiful riverscape takes a bend and leads into the greeny dense birds crowded mangrove forest on the west.

I vividly recall the colourful birds fly singing in clear blue sky which may perplex one to the extend to rethink the meaning/purpose of life.I am sure these scenaries and sounds of birds here will keep resonating in the memory of one who comes here, for their rest of their lifetime.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Seating arrangements in Chevalier Shivaji Arangam

One could see the overwhelming turn out of large number of people to Cuddalore Municipal Park.

But this is not the case with the Chevalier Shivaji Arangam(Manjakuppam Ground).Among the various factors few important reasons why people come there in less number is
1.There is no seating no arrangement(installing some benches would solve this problem)
2.Two wheelers and four wheeleers cross from one side of the ground to the otherside along any path they feel like.

Once these problems are sort out the ground will also attract more crowd as in the case of Cuddalore Munipal Park.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

News item from THE HINDU

Pollution kills off fish

A large number of dead fish were found floating in the river Gedilam on Tuesday. The discharge of untreated effluents from some industrial units was believed to be a cause for the high level of pollution in the river.

The District Consumer Protection Organisation has objected to the "mindless damage" caused to water sources and water-borne organisms. Its general secretary M. Nizamudeen, blamed the pollution on the discharge of untreated chemical effluents by a sugar mill in Nellikuppam. In a statement, Mr. Nizamudeen said some persons, unaware of the health hazard, were seen collecting the dead fish to sell them. Since the river was polluted, the ground water in the vicinity too had become contaminated.

As the river drained into the sea, it affected marine life as well.

Copyright©2005, The Hindu.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

An article from New York Times

Honoring News Photos as Picture-Taking Evolves
Published: May 3, 2005

Since handing out its first award in 1955 for a picture of a motorcyclist skidding out of control, the annual World Press Photo contest has grown into photojournalism's premier event. The 50th-anniversary exhibition, featuring prize-winning news images from 2004, opens tomorrow at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

This year's Photo of the Year award went to the Indian photographer Arko Datta for his shot of a woman in Cuddalore, in southern India, lamenting the death of a relative killed in the tsunami. World Press Photo, a nonprofit foundation based in Amsterdam, also handed out prizes to more than 60 other photographers from two dozen countries. They were chosen from almost 70,000 entries submitted by more than 4,000 photographers, more than in any previous year.

Though the international jury initially sees each image for a mere two seconds, it still takes almost two weeks of long days for the members to select the winners, using game-show-type clickers to enter their votes anonymously.

The recent uptick in submissions may seem linked to the proliferation of cameras in more and more devices, like cellphones, a phenomenon gradually turning everyone into an aspiring shutterbug. But World Press Photo is open to professionals only, which explains why some of the biggest news photos of 2004 were conspicuously absent.

"We had a lot of discussions this year because of the Abu Ghraib photos and the coffin pictures" of United States soldiers returning from Iraq, said the Argentine photographer Diego Goldberg, the chairman of this year's jury. But they were taken by amateurs. "Journalistically they were very important, extremely important," he said, "but the organization is called World Press, not 'photography in general.' It's about what is being produced by professionals for the press."

Echoing the arguments that news organizations frequently use to explain how what they do differs from what blogs do, many of this year's winners played down the threat of amateurs. Nina Berman, a New York-based photographer who won a prize for a series of pictures showing the lives of wounded American soldiers home from Iraq (originally published in Mother Jones magazine), said amateur photo scoops are an exception. "These took months and months of time," she said of her photographs, which have been collected in a book called "Purple Hearts." "The method of working, the level of expertise, of respect, is just totally different. It's like the third-grade scribble versus the Ph.D. thesis."

Mr. Datta, who works for Reuters, embraces the changes. "I feel it's a welcome trend," he said by e-mail. "The line between professional photojournalists and amateurs is thinning. And with more and more nonprofessionals opting to use their cameras to capture socially relevant images, it can only make photojournalism more popular."

Some winners bemoaned the decreasing number of outlets for classic reportage photography, which has long been a hallmark of World Press exhibitions. "There's so few venues for this work anymore," Ms. Berman said. "Magazines aren't interested so much in news beyond their demographic. This is a major problem."

Erik Refner, a Danish photographer who won the first of several World Press awards in 2002 at 31 (after successful stints as a soldier, athlete and photo model), agrees some markets are drying up. "I see less and less clients willing to publish these, and to pay a reasonable price for them," he said. "It's extremely difficult to sell."

All the more reason for photographers to rise to the challenge, he said, by more actively pursuing assignments, for example, "instead of just sitting and waiting for them to call you."

"You need to regroup," he added. "It's a part of the evolution. Of course the business has changed a lot, but then we just have to adapt to that."

That adaptation can come in the form of taking better photos. A trend that Mr. Goldberg noted this year was how "many photographers went back to shooting medium format," which produces large, lucid negatives still unrivaled by even the best digital cameras. "There you see really the difference in quality."

One photographer keen on traditional film is Paolo Woods, a self-described "digital dinosaur," who won a World Press prize this year for his idiosyncratic images of Iraq, which he shot on square-format, black-and-white film. In addition to the quality differences, Mr. Woods, who is based in Paris, appreciates the pace of analog shooting. "Photojournalists always look for speed, but I wanted to be slowed down somehow," he said. "It's a bit like wine: you make the wine; then you wait a while for it to become good before you drink it. But digital images, you consume immediately."

Though he occasionally shoots digitally and agrees that digital quality will surpass even medium-format film in a few years, he says that seeing each shot on a digicam's L.C.D. screen can lead to lazy picture-making. "You tend to be satisfied a lot more quickly," he said, "but when you're shooting with film, you never know what you've got, and you push on and eventually it's the last image that's the good one."

Another issue debated at this year's contest was whether the flood of pictures from camera phones and sites like might contribute to diminishing the power of the still image. "Those images will not have the same impact," Mr. Woods said, "and that has created a desire to see a certain photojournalism of quality, the real in-depth work. I think in the viewers there is a thirst for good, quality work."

And though space for contemplative photo essays may be decreasing in the print media, photography galleries and photo books are growing in popularity.

"I'm skeptical about the notion of tragedy fatigue or compassion fatigue," said David Campbell, a geography professor at the University of Durham, England, who spoke at the awards ceremony in Amsterdam on April 23, and in a telephone interview, said: "Still images continue to have a surprising degree of power. You wouldn't think that people in the age of the Internet and television would still go out and buy $45 coffee-table books, but they do. It's still the still image, and not the television footage, that sticks in your head."

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

A photo from Cuddalore in UN's PhotoExhibition

World Press Photo Exhibition opens at headquarters 3 MAY
(Press Release Note No. 5933)

In observance of World Press Freedom Day, an exhibition of the best press photographs of 2004 will open in the North-East Gallery of the General Assembly Visitors’ Lobby at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, 3 May. This travelling exhibition of winning images selected at World Press Photos’ worldwide 2005 photojournalism contest in Amsterdam will remain on display through 6 June.

Opening remarks at the formal exhibit opening will be made by the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Shashi Tharoor. Also speaking are the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations, Dirk Jan van den Berg; Regional Director of TNT, Mark Gunton; and Managing Director of the World Press Photo Foundation, Michiel Munneke.

Among the winning images featured in the exhibition is the World Press Photo of the Year 2004, regarded as the photojournalistic encapsulation of the year; a photograph that represents an issue, situation or event of great journalistic importance. This year’s selection is a colour image showing an Indian woman mourning the death of a relative who was killed in the Asian tsunami catastrophe. The picture was taken in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, on 28 December 2004 by Indian photographer Arko Datta of Reuters.

The World Press Photo contest broke two records this year, 4,266 professional photographers from 123 countries entered 69,190 images. It was also the first time that the judging was completely digital. An international jury gave prizes in 10 theme categories to 63 photographers from 24 countries. World Press Photo, an independent, non-profit organization founded in 1955 in the Netherlands, is committed to supporting and promoting the work of professional press photographers. It has evolved into an independent platform for photojournalism and the free exchange of information.

This photo exhibit is sponsored by the World Press Photo Foundation, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations, Getty Images, Canon, TNT and the Department of Public Information. A selection of the winning images is available for publication on the international wire services of Reuters, AP, AFP and EPA. For additional information, visit the World Press Photo website:

For more information on United Nations exhibitions, call Jan Arnesen at tel.: (212) 963-8531, or Liza Wichmann at tel.: (212) 963-0089, or visit the website at

Saturday, May 07, 2005

For more details about PSLV-C6

If you would like to know the more about the PSVL-C6 please use this link.

Pictures of PSLV-C6

PSLV at Umblical Tower

PSLV-C6 integration

Mock-up of PSLV on MLP emerging out of VAB

PSLV on MLP on its way to UT

Lightning Protection Towers around UT

CARTOSAT-1 during assembly and testing

HAMSAT undergoing tests

A note

Here I've added articles and editorals from THE HINDU in full rather than providing just links because I there is a good reason.

There are very good ways to make these essays to the developement of Cuddalore I will post my own essay on this subject by the end this month.

India's growing space launch prowess

India's growing space launch prowess

Just 18 minutes after the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, it deposited the 1,560 kg Cartosat-1, India's 13th remote sensing satellite, and then Hamsat, which weighs a mere 42 kg, in their designated orbits some 600 km above the earth. The uneventfulness of PSLV's flight is taken for granted these days. In the past decade, the Indian Space Research Organisation has launched eight PSLVs and three Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicles (GSLV) without encountering failure even once. ISRO has done India proud by endowing it with the capability to build and launch a variety of satellites in a way that is as reliable as it is valuable. At hand to watch Thursday's launch was A.P.J. Abdul Kalam; it bears recall that he led the team that gave India its first launch vehicle, the SLV-3, which was successfully sent aloft in July 1980.

This time the President witnessed the first launch to be carried out from the newly built Second Launch Pad. ISRO began considering it in the early 1990s in the realisation that dependence on a single pad was too risky. Accidents could occur and serious damage to the pad could derail the country's launch programme. There were, for instance, some heart-stopping moments at the first attempt to the launch the GSLV in March 2001 when the launch had to be aborted just a second before lift-off and some foam insulation on the rocket caught fire. (Happily, on that occasion, automatic extinguishers put out the flames swiftly and the rocket was successfully fired a month later.) The second pad is also needed to handle the vastly more powerful GSLV Mark-III, which is expected to fly before the end of this decade. The second pad has been designed to provide greater flexibility. As with the Space Shuttle of the United States and Europe's Ariane rockets, Indian launchers can now be assembled on a mobile platform in a separate building and then moved to the pad a few days before launch. With this system, there can be one rocket at the pad while another is being integrated in the Vehicle Assembly Building. The first launch complex, on the other hand, can handle only one launcher at a time, as the rocket is assembled right on the pad.

The time has certainly come for India to roll out a powerful campaign to secure launch orders from other countries. The capability to build and launch satellites must be put together as a package that is attractive, especially to developing countries. China has been doing precisely that. It joined hands with Brazil to create the China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellites (CBERS) and in December 2004 it won its first order to build and launch a communications satellite for Nigeria. For this sort of project to come India's way, the country's political leadership must take the initiative in overcoming hurdles (by getting U.S. export control procedures simplified) and persuading heads of other governments to utilise Indian capabilities.

Mapping the earth from a new high

Mapping the earth from a new high

N. Gopal Raj

With Cartosat-1 in orbit and the launch of Cartosat-2 also planned, the sky is the limit for Indian remote sensing.

IN JUNE 1979, a Soviet rocket carried an Indian satellite that weighed about 400 kg into space. Bhaskara-I was India's first effort at building a remote sensing satellite. Its two TV cameras produced images with a resolution of one km. Only fairly large bodies such as forests, the Sunderbans, Chilka lake, and the mouth of the Ganga could be readily identified from the Bhaskara pictures, recalls K. Kasturirangan, former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation who had led the teams that designed and built India's early remote sensing satellites.

On Thursday (May 5), Cartosat-1 weighing 1,560 kg travelled to its orbit in space 600 km above the earth onboard India's own Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. Its twin panchromatic (PAN) cameras take black-and-white pictures with a resolution better than 2.5 metres, which is sufficient to allow individual buildings to be seen and identified. The images from the two cameras can be combined to produce a three-dimensional effect that allows the height of the terrain to be estimated with considerable accuracy.

The Technology Experiment Satellite (TES) that the ISRO launched in October 2001 and which is still operational carries a PAN camera capable of seeing objects less than one metre in size, a capability that is sufficient to recognise individual vehicles. TES was built in a hurry after the Kargil conflict of 1999 and its images, which are said to be of excellent quality, are available only to the armed forces and security services. One important application of the TES imagery has reportedly been to identify routes that Pakistan-based terrorists are likely to be using to clandestinely enter Indian territory.

ISRO is planning to launch Cartosat-2 with a camera whose resolution will be similar to that of TES before the end of the current financial year. The images from Cartosat-2 will be available on commercial terms.

For ISRO, it has not been a question of only providing images with ever-greater resolution. Many of the remote sensing satellites it has launched have cameras that take pictures in different colours (what is termed `multispectral imagery'), which have poorer resolution than PAN images. Different soils, plants, and minerals have characteristic `signatures' in the various colours and so can be accurately identified in the pictures.

A whole host of applications have grown around using multispectral data. In agriculture, for instance, not only can the different crops be identified but their acreage and even stage of growth can also be gauged. It is then possible to estimate what the likely production would be, well before the crop is even harvested. Multispectral images have also been used to look at forest cover, examine changes in land use patterns, find out where to dig tubewells, make environmental impact assessments, and locate the good fishing areas. Both panchromatic and multispectral images from Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites were used to map the extent of the havoc caused by last December's tsunami. PAN and multispectral images can also be merged to provide the best of both worlds.

But there is no question that high-resolution imageries, which permit rapid mapping in greater detail, have become an important driver for remote sensing. The total worldwide sales of satellite image data alone is forecast to be around $ 1 billion this year (2005), according to Beram Gazdar, senior research analyst at Frost & Sullivan, a company that specialises in consultancy and market analysis. Three-quarters of this will come from sales of PAN data and only 15 per cent will be multispectral data sales, he told The Hindu.

When India's IRS-1C was launched in 1995 (the last Indian remote sensing satellite launched abroad), it was king of the hill with its 5.8 metre resolution PAN camera providing the highest resolution satellite images that were commercially available. It lost that position four years later when Space Imaging, a private company in the United States, got Ikonos 2 with one metre resolution into orbit. Today, another U.S. satellite, QuickBird 2 with a best resolution of 60 cm, offers the highest resolution commercially available images. Future satellites, such OrbView 5 from the U.S., will provide even better resolution. About a dozen remote sensing satellites that are either operational or are expected to be launched by various countries in the next few years (including Cartosat-2) will provide images with a resolution of one metre or less.

PAN images with that sort of resolution (one metre or less) already account for about 23 per cent of satellite image data sales globally, says Mr. Gazdar. However, satellite imagery with a resolution of between one and three metres — the segment Cartosat-1 comes in — is responsible for nearly a third of the satellite imagery sales. So with Cartosat-1 and Cartosat-2, ISRO is well positioned to take advantage of the worldwide market for satellite imagery that is growing at about seven per cent a year, he believes.

Within India too there are signs that high-resolution satellite imagery is becoming popular. Of the Rs.35 crore earned during the financial year 2004-2005 by the National Remote Sensing Agency, the ISRO unit in Hyderabad that handles the reception and sale of satellite data, Rs.6 crore came from the sale of high-resolution data, according to a senior official.

High resolution images are useful for producing detailed maps that aid local level planning and decision-making. In Kerala, for instance, in a project funded by ISRO, scientists at the Centre for Earth Science Studies in Thiruvananthapuram have used Ikonos PAN and multispectral data to update village maps, carry out soil mapping and identify areas that could be prone to landslides. "With satellite imagery, the village maps can be quickly updated," points out K.K. Ramachandran of CESS.

Once data from the Cartosat is available, it will greatly reduce the cost of such mapping, believes Dr. Ramachandran. Although the pricing of Cartosat-1 data has not yet been fixed, ISRO says it is confident the data will be available to Indian users a highly competitive rate.

Handicaps and barriers

But the current regime of security restrictions governing high-resolution satellite imageries could become an important handicap. The CESS scientists, for instance, had to establish their own `ground control points' (GCPs) that are needed to correct the orientation of satellite imageries as the GCPs established by the Survey of India have restrictions attached. The ability of Cartosat-1 to provide accurate height information of the terrain could raise further security issues.

"A major domestic barrier to increased commercial use of remote sensing data within the country has been the various formal and informal norms and rules governing the marketing and distribution of high resolution data," says S. Chandrashekar, a former ISRO staffer and now with IIM Bangalore. In the era of the Internet where such data is available from competing suppliers and can be acquired fairly easily, "the only outcome of such a policy is to deny Indian data acquired by an Indian satellite to Indian users," he told The Hindu. A more pro-commercial data distribution policy was vital, he added.

In 1994, Antrix Corporation, ISRO's marketing wing, signed an agreement with the U.S.-based Earth Observation Satellite Company (which later became Space Imaging, operators of the Ikonos satellite) giving them exclusive rights for marketing and distributing IRS satellite data outside the Indian subcontinent. The agreement has been extended till 2010 and is now principally for data from the Resourcesat-1 satellite that ISRO launched in 2003, according to K. R. Sridhara Murthi, executive director of Antrix. Exclusive rights to distribute data from Cartosat-1 and future Indian remote sensing satellites such as Cartosat-2 would depend on agreement being reached with Space Imaging on its performance targets, he told The Hindu.

Space Imaging had established a worldwide network of IRS ground stations and brought the IRS programme to the international marketplace, a spokesperson for the company told The Hindu by email. Users were starting to value and use multispectral imagery from Resourcesat-1 and the introduction of Cartosat-1 would further increase the commercial marketability of the IRS programme, he added.

Data from ISRO's remote sensing satellites meets eight per cent of the global market for satellite imageries, according to Mr. Gazdar. Rupert Haydn, managing director of Euromap that has been distributing IRS data in Europe over the last 10 years, told The Hindu by email that data from the Indian satellites had a market share of about 10 to 15 per cent in Europe.

The satellite data market had become extremely competitive, pointed out Mr. Haydn. The only way to be successful was to have technically good and reliable products at competitive prices based on a reliable and fast service. He did not, however, respond to a question about whether more needed to be done to improve the competitiveness of IRS data.

ISRO needed to build an brand image for IRS data, says Prof. Chandrashekar. That would not be possible by marketing IRS data through a distributor who owns and operates comparable satellites. India's remote sensing programme had been a technological and organisational success, but now a more proactive strategy was needed to promote and nurture the IRS brand, he remarked.

Copyright © 2005, The Hindu.

PSLV-C6 puts two satellites into polar orbit

Another perfect launch by ISRO

India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C6, rose majestically from the spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. It injected two satellites, CARTOSAT-1 and HAMSAT, precisely into their orbits. The lift-off was at 10.15 a.m., four minutes ahead of schedule, on May 5. PSLV-C6 put the 1,560-kg CARTOSAT-1 into orbit at a height of 627 km, 1,058 seconds after lift-off. A minute later, it slotted the micro-satellite HAMSAT, weighing 43 kg, into a similar orbit.

As the vehicle shot off like an arrow from the newly built second launch pad (SLP) at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, a deep rumble filled the island. It was a spectacular sight — the vehicle took a parabolic path on flame and smoke, and the first of its four stages peeled away 112 seconds after ignition.

A special in many ways

The flight was special in several ways. This is the first launch from the world-class SLP. The lift-off was smooth, validating the pad's nascent systems. ``We never felt that it was taking place from the second launch pad. It was precise,'' exulted B.N. Suresh, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. Secondly, the rocket stood on the launch pad for five days from April 30, exposed to rain, thunder, and lightning. But the rain-proof and lightning-proof vehicle stood the test well, demonstrating what a dependable workhorse it is for the Indian Space Research Organisation.

Thirdly, this was the eighth successful PSLV flight in a row. Fourthly, CARTOSAT-1, at 1,560 kg, is the heaviest remote-sensing satellite to be orbited by a PSLV. In its first successful attempt in 1994, it deployed a satellite weighing 904 kg.

The mission was witnessed by a special visitor, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He watched the flight from the glass-partitioned VIP cabin at the Mission Control Centre (MCC), the nerve-centre of the launch activities. Mr. Kalam, a rocket engineer, was the project director of ISRO's first two SLV-3 flights from Sriharikota in August 1979 and July 1980. As applause filled the air when the two satellites went into orbit, the President beamed, strode briskly into the MCC proper, and hugged G. Madhavan Nair, Chairman of ISRO.

In a brief speech, he congratulated the ISRO engineers and scientists at the MCC on their ``excellent performance,'' adding, ``I am proud of you and the country is proud of you.'' He reminisced about his ISRO days and the first successful flight of the SLV-3 on July 18, 1980. ``I was on the other side'' of the MCC that day, he recalled. That flight put a 40-kg Rohini satellite into orbit. President Kalam noted that 25 years after the event, PSLV-C6 was able to put either a 1,600-kg satellite into a polar sun-synchronous orbit or a 4,000-kg satellite into a low-earth orbit at a height of 300 km to 400 km.

The ISRO Chairman noted that the vehicle traced ``a fantastically accurate trajectory.'' He added that ``we were working against all odds.'' P.S. Goel, Director of the ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore, which built both satellites, said CARTOSAT-1's solar panels had deployed and its health was good. While imagery from CARTOSAT-1 would be used for making maps, planning towns and so on, HAMSAT's transponders would be used for radio communication during emergencies such as cyclones, floods, and tsunamis.

Copyright © 2005, The Hindu.


President at home

``It was like a family get-together. It was almost like the old days. The President was very nostalgic." This was how ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair described President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's visit to Sriharikota to witness the PSLV-C6 launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

Sriharikota has an emotional attachment for Mr. Kalam, project director of ISRO's first SLV-3 flight on August 10, 1979, and the next flight SLV-3 on July 18, 1980, which was "a fantastic success."

During his two-day stay at Sriharikota, the President narrated this story to his friends from the SLV-3 days. ISRO had organised an exhibition featuring, among other things, scale models of SLV-3, ASLV (Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle) and PSLV. A school girl looked at SLV-3, the smallest of the models, and asked Mr. Kalam, ``Uncle, did you make it?'' To his ``Yes,'' she responded, ``Why did you make such a small rocket?' The practised raconteur's story was greeted with laughter.

It was like a family get-together but he "virtually took a mission readiness review" as well. There were presentations and discussions on the preparedness of the various sub-systems. The President was nostalgic, especially about his SLV-3 days. He recounted how the SLV-3 had deployed a 40-kg Rohini satellite in July 1980 and how ISRO had "evolved" now to deploying satellites 100 times that size. "He was trying to project how India should really become a leader in space technology, space transportation and planetary exploration," reported Mr. Nair.

Mr. Kalam was happy to meet "Pant saab" - Nilambar Pant, who was Director of SHAR during the SLV-3 flights in 1979 and 1980, then Director of ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore and subsequently ISRO Vice-Chairman. There was ribbing about how it would take a few hours even to get a cup of tea at SHAR in the early 1970s but now, dinners and lunches were organised for hundreds of people in a few hours. Most of the facilities in the old days were under an asbestos-roofed shed.

M. Nagarathinam, an expert cook, popularly known as `Murugan' at the ISRO guest house in Chennai, went to SHAR to prepare a meal featuring especially "vatha kozhambu" relished by the President. "Mr. Kalam is a pure vegetarian and he likes avial, vatha kozhambu, and mor kozhambu," is SHAR intelligence. At the SHAR guest house, he stayed in the room he occupied in 2003 when he came to Sriharikota to acquaint himself with the preparations for the launch of RESOURCESAT.

Copyright © 2005, The Hindu.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

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This May Cuddaloreonline will bring essays on the following subjects

*Ways to get the aid of Indian Institute of Town Planners(IITP) to turn Cuddalore into a metropoly.
*Economic backwardness of Cuddalore-Reasons and Ways to get rid off
*Eco tourism-Making Cuddalore a tourism hub
*Ways to make Silver Beach the ultimate detination for tourists
*An essay about the Special Economic Zone(s) with reasons why Cuddalore can claim for one.
*History:Cuddalore Under British Regime.
*Fall of a harbour(an essay which vividly potrays the past glory of Cuddalore Harbour)

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